Benedictine College Observes Day of Prayer and Fasting for Religious Liberty

Benedictine College Observes Day of Prayer and Fasting for Religious Liberty

Eucharistic Adoration at Grotto as Court Hears Little Sisters of the Poor Case

Published: Monday, March 21, 2016

Benedictine College observed a day of prayer and fasting for religious liberty on Wednesday, March 23. That is the day 35 plaintiffs, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, begin oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Zubik v. Burwell, the case that has come to be known as the Little Sisters of the Poor v. Obamacare.

“We need to be vigilant in defense of religious liberty,” said President Stephen D. Minnis in announcing the day.

At Benedictine College, the Day of Prayer and Fasting included these elements:

  • A Eucharistic Hour at Mary’s Grotto at 9 a.m. as oral arguments begin in Washington, D.C.
  • The bells of St. Benedict's Abbey Church will toll for one minute at 9 a.m. to mark the occasion.
  • St. Martin’s Memorial Chapel student Mass at 12:10 p.m. will be dedicated to this intention.
  • Eight hours of Eucharistic Adoration for Religious Freedom in St. Martin’s Memorial Chapel, starting at the end of Mass.
  • Members of Benedictine College’s national Memorare Army for Religious Freedom have pledged more than 3 million Memorares for religious liberty. Members will be asked to participate in the day of prayer and fasting.

The Little Sisters of the poor sum up the case here. Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, argues that the government “already exempts one in three Americans from this mandate, and it has given big government programs and big companies like Exxon and Visa the freedom to decide not to comply with the mandate, even just for reasons of cost or convenience.”

President Minnis said it is important to stand up for religious liberty at this critical time when the Little Sisters of the Poor are being threatened.

“When Benedictine College saw the HHS mandate coming down the pike, we took steps to ensure that we could keep our religious freedom,” he said. “Our constitutional right to exercise freedom of religion is being tested like never before — but it is a fundamental right that we will never give up.”

Dean of the College Dr. Kimberly Shankman stressed the importance of fighting against the HHS Mandate, which attempts to force Catholic institutions to violate Church teachings regarding abortion and contraception.

“As James Madison put it, ‘Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe’ — that is, religious liberty is based in man’s inherent relationships, both to God and to his fellow citizens,” she said.  “Thus religious freedom has to mean both the right to hold religious beliefs and also the right to live by them. The mandate to violate Church teaching ignores this right.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.